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HBO’s Bluray/DVD Press Kit Has the Goods

Back at the start of December, we shared this missive from Lord Varys, courtesy of HBO, in which Westeros.org was named honorary members of House Lannister and promised some secretive information in weeks to come regarding the Blu-Ray and DVD season 1 box sets due March 6th, 2012.

Well, the time for waiting is over, as we received something sent by special courier from the distant ... ah, lets say Oldtown, where one might suppose the city and suburbs of the greater Los Angeles area might be.

 

We know Winter is Coming got one, and we’re eager to see what theirs look likes, as we’re guessing theirs has a Stark theme to it. The first we saw was this handsome, cloth-covered box featuring the Lannister lion and Game of Thrones emblazoned in gold foil, and the HBO logo under he lion as well. Opening it up, we were presented with a second box with the Lannister family words, “Hear Me Roar”, and underneath that a couple of documents.

First, perhaps one of the chief points of this box for fans who’ve been watching developments closely: information regarding the “Hidden Dragon Eggs” which we previously reported on as being a part of the Blu-Ray experience.

We’ll quote the document in full:

This dragon egg is easy to find, but the six we’ve hidden on our Blu-ray discs will require much more skill to uncover. Look for HBO, Facebook and Twitter posts in March for clues to help you with your hunt. In the meantime, for a preview of things to come, check out these Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season Blu-ray/DVD.

 

There was one more message besides the document above, a nicely bordered quote from one Tyrion Lannister, stating that most famous of unofficial Lannister mottoes, “A Lannister always pays his debts.”

Of course, the message raised a couple of points. A dragon egg that was easy to find? What, I don’t see any dragon egg, there must be something wrong—or so thought I, until I decided to remove the papers from where they were nestled in the box. And then…

Oh. Well, all right then!

This would be the Dragon Egg Paper Weight, one of the many fine collectible items produced by the HBO Store. Nice and hefty, and I’m sure it’ll see some use holding down the random bits of paper that always seem to collect, the detrius of months of writing, research, shopping lists, and so on.

You’ll notice a gap to the right—that’s where a nice little pair of DVDs with a cardboard packaging featuring various character shots went, containing two DVDs. The first is the press kit, containing photos, video clips, and a few document files (including a full press release which we’ll add in at the end.

Of these, by far our favorite video had to be the clip from the character-narrated History of Westeros, this one featuring Bran and Catelyn Stark recounting the early history of the Old Gods and the new gods (the Seven). It all plays out in front of a series of lovely sketches and illustrations, which we assume came from concept artist Will Simpson, done in a “motion comic” style. Have to say, we really liked the look of it, and look forward to seeing the rest of these. And, you know, if HBO ever takes interest in adapting “The Hedge Knight”, doing it in “motion comic” style might be just the way to do it within a budget. The results can be quite spectacular when you blend illustration and computer generated imagery.

The art is quite nice, and also revealing, as I’m pretty sure the depiction of the Great Sept of Baelor seen here was an early design sketch and markedly different from what was glimpsed in the credits (and in the original screeners sent out to the media). Here’s the clip:

In any case, the kit also includes the various stills we’ve seen before, excerpts showing off the In Episode Guide (very much the same as what HBO Go users had the chance to use, from what I can tell) and the behind-the-scenes Anatomy of an Episode guide, and so on.

Which leaves the other box, the “Hear Me Roar” one. Opening that one up led to something quite nice: a wax seal, wax, and letterhead paper featuring the Lannister lion! We’ll have to find some occasion to use these, as it’s all quite nicely done. Not depicted are three glossy photos depicting the Lannister siblings Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion, as they’re official stills we’ve also seen before.

As always, HBO’s production values for press material is top notch, and our hats off to them for sharing these items with us, and with our readers!

That sums things up pretty well, so lets go back to the question of those hidden dragon eggs. Our understanding is that the Lost Blu-ray set also included a similar feature, although we know very little about it. The fact that there’ll be clues to finding them suggests that only the eagle-eyed will figure out where they are (and what to do when you see them!) the first time through. But when you find one… what then?

Well, our guess is that the audition tapes that the producers suggested they hoped to get on to the sets are going to show up as these hidden bonus features. Why think that? Well… the UK description over at Amazon.co.uk revealed as much in its list of contents and their running times, stating that cast audition tapes covers approximately 25 minutes. That breaks down pretty neatly to 4 minute a segment if the six “eggs” are audition tapes for six of the cast members. As to which cast members? That’s a question, but it seems a sure bet that Jason Momoa’s audition for Khal Drogo will be on there, given that his performance of a Polynesian sort of war dance/chant along the lines of the Maori haka was the memorable start to his audition, and the reason the producers mentioned their desire to put auditions on the sets to begin with.

Below is the full press release:

“Epic Win!” – Time Magazine

“Pulls you in…doesn’t let go” – Los Angeles Times

GAME OF THRONES®: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

Available March 6, 2012 on Blu-rayTM Disc, DVD and Digital Download

Loaded with Exclusive Bonus Content Including Comprehensive Histories, Anatomy of an Episode, In Episode Guides & Much More!

New York, N.Y., December 5, 2012 – Game of Thrones, one of the most elaborate and visually striking series on television, makes its highly-anticipated Blu-ray, DVD and digital download debut on March 6, 2012.  Based on George R.R. Martin’s best-selling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the sweeping fantasy saga instantly became one of HBO’s biggest hits. Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season five-disc BD ($79.98) and DVD ($59.99) sets contain a monumental array of bonus materials and interactive features that will thrill fans of the series and new viewers alike. 

Game of Thrones is “tantalizing” (Los Angeles Times), “excellent” (The Hollywood Reporter) and an “HBO Triumph” (Boston Globe) that won two 2011 Emmy® awards including Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage).  The drama follows kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noblemen as they vie for power in a land where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime.  Two powerful families are engaged in a deadly cat-and-mouse game for control of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. As betrayal, lust, intrigue and supernatural forces shake the four corners of the Kingdoms, their bloody struggle for the Iron Throne will have unforeseen and far-reaching consequences.

Bonus Material

The Blu-ray and DVD bonus materials included in Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season are as epic as the show it represents.  A full length, 60 minute Anatomy of an Episode, extensive In-Episode Guides, meticulous histories and fascinating behind-the-scenes featurettes all detail the exceptional storytelling, superb acting and stunning visual effects that went into making this sprawling production.  Content includes: 

Blu-ray – includes all DVD features plus:

  • Blu-ray Complete Guide to Westeros – an interactive compendium of the noble houses and lands featured in season one, PLUS 24 exclusive histories of the Seven Kingdoms as told by the characters themselves done with animated illustrations that provide more information on the background of Game of Thrones.
  • In-Episode Guide – in-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations, and relevant histories while each episode plays.
  • Anatomy of an Episode – an in-episode experience that explores the creative minds and colossal efforts behind episode six, “A Golden Crown.”
  • Hidden Dragon Eggs – find the hidden dragon eggs to uncover even more never-before-seen content.

DVD:

  • Complete Guide to Westeros – an interactive compendium of the noble houses and lands featured in season one.
  • Making Game of Thrones – an exclusive 30-minute feature including never-before-seen footage from the set and interviews from the cast and crew.
  • Character Profiles – profiles of 15 major characters as described by the actors portraying them.
  • Creating the Show Open – an inside look at the creation of the Emmy®-winning opening title sequence for Game of Thrones.
  • From the Book to the Screen – executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss along with author George R.R. Martin talk about the challenges of bringing Martin’s epic fantasy novel to life on HBO.
  • The Night’s Watch – an in-depth look at the unique order of men who patrol and protect the Wall, a 700 foot ice structure that separates the Seven Kingdoms from the darkness beyond.
  • Creating the Dothraki Language – an insightful glance into the comprehensive language created for the Dothraki people in Game of Thrones.
  • Audio Commentaries – Seven audio commentaries with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, Sophie Turner, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Bryan Cogman, Harry Lloyd, Daniel Minahan and Alan Taylor.

Game of Thrones series regulars include (in alphabetical order):  Mark Addy as King Robert Baratheon, Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Sean Bean as Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Ser Jaime Lannister, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Michelle Fairley as Lady Catelyn Stark, Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish (“Littlefinger”), Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey Baratheon, Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont, Kit Harington as Jon Snow, Lena Headey as Queen Cersei Lannister, Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, Harry Lloyd as Viserys Targaryen, Richard Madden as Robb Stark, Rory McCann as Sandor Clegane (“The Hound”), Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark and Maisie Williams as Arya Stark.  The series is executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss; co-executive producers, Carolyn Strauss, Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, Ralph Vicinanza and George R.R. Martin; producers, Mark Huffam and Frank Doelger; directors include Brian Kirk, Daniel Minahan, Alan Taylor and Tim Van Patten; writers include David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Bryan Cogman, Jane Espenson and George R.R. Martin.

 

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